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Ilitches won’t renew lease with Joe Louis Arena

26 June 2009 - 09:34 AM

Per Crains Detroit:

Ilitches won’t renew lease with Joe Louis Arena

By Bill Shea

The owners of the Detroit Red Wings today told the city of Detroit that they won’t renew their lease with Joe Louis Arena, which allows Cobo Arena to return to city control and will pave the way for expansion of Cobo Center.

However, the statement from Olympia Entertainment does not indicate Mike and Marian Ilitch will build a new arena.

Instead, they indicated that not renewing will allow them to pursue a new lease at Joe Louis.

They said they chose not to extend the current lease, which they were required to tell the city by Tuesday either way, to help the city resolve the Cobo situation and retain the North American International Auto Show, which could have left the city without an expanded Cobo.

The statement from Ilitch-owned Olympia, which manages city-owned Joe Louis and Cobo Arena:

“Olympia Entertainment today informed the City of Detroit via personal phone call and hand-delivered letter that, pursuant to the terms of its current lease, Olympia Entertainment will not exercise its option to extend the current lease on the Joe Louis and Cobo Arenas for an additional 20 years. The current lease, which covers both arenas, expires on June 30, 2010, and automatically renews for 20 years if Olympia Entertainment did not notify the City of its decision on the option by June 30, 2009. Olympia’s decision to not extend the current lease returns Cobo Arena to the City of Detroit and should assist officials in their efforts to keep the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This action also allows Olympia Entertainment and the City of Detroit to continue work on a new lease specifically for Joe Louis Arena.”
© 2009 Crain Communications Inc.